Motorists Injure Cyclists, Police Get Tough On Cyclists?

21 06 2011

Well, in a fit of American tea party type logic, the Aussie police have seen fit to “get tough” on the victim. The article quotes a senior police sergeant as saying: “We have seen a number of incidents recently, particularly in the St Kilda Road area, where cyclists have collided with opening car doors,” Dubbed “Operation Compass” (which is humorous because it is evidently the police who have lost their way here and should be trying to find it) police “will patrol major routes into the city at peak times following a recent jump in bicycle crashes that have left some cyclists with serious injuries”. The article goes on to state that:

“The most recent figures from Bicycle Victoria’s annual road count, taken on March 1 this year, revealed that 1510 cyclists passed through the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in the city between 7am and 9am. That was the busiest bicycle commuter intersection in the city, recording an average of 12.6 cyclists per minute. However, the number of riders was down 18.5 per cent on the previous year due to wet and windy conditions in the city on the day the count was taken.”

Which of course, in a car dominated culture is exactly what “they” want.


This means war!

20 06 2011

“Cyclists also noticed thumbtacks on the road the previous weekend, though many had been squashed by passing cars. Jeff Craddock and several other cyclists picked up the thumbtacks that Monday morning, and he estimated they collected 100 or 200 at each of several intersections along the route…Last week…every intersection had tacks sprinkled on it. Such roadway risks are not normal, said Craddock, who has been riding with the group for about five years.”

Somebodysgonnagetahurtrealbad! Such roadway risks are not normal he says. I suppose that is true, usually its cars trying to hit us, or things being thrown from the windows as they pass…which leads me to:

Of course in this instance I guess we should give the driver a break, I mean she was busy on her cellphone while she was driving, and she was drunk, which makes driving awfully difficult. She deserves a little leniency here I suppose…er…


23 09 2010

This is really getting out of hand.

You’re A Loser You Idiot Cyclist

30 07 2010

Slate has an article up “Dude, wheres your car- How not having a car became Hollywood shorthand for loser”

Being that I just saw this movie, and thought it quite horrible, this article just adds to that feeling. While the author lightly touches on the feeling of the general populace toward alternatives to motor vehicles:

We could attribute it to the simple fact of the film industry’s base in Los Angeles, a place whose residents—film directors and otherwise—can hardly imagine life without a car.

And includes a sociologists take:

Or perhaps it’s the wider society that has trouble conceiving of life outside the omnipresent sphere of what sociologist John Urry calls “automobility,” one tenet of which is “the dominant culture that organizes and legitimates socialities across different genders, classes, ages and so on; that sustains major discourses of what constitutes the good life and what is necessary for an appropriate citizenship of mobility; and that provides potent literary and artistic images and symbols.”

He doesn’t discuss the real reason behind these attitudes; the “car culture” that the oil industry has ingrained into the mainstream way of life in the states. Cities are planned around the car, with little regard to other methods of transport. It is not in the interest of big business to change the status quo, and have people drive less and ride bikes more. I have to blame the cycling industry as well, they have not made bikes feel accessible to the everyday person. The elitist attitude runs rampant through cycling, and pushes people who otherwise may choose to ride away. Someday bikes may be portrayed as “cool” by Hollywood, but I’m not holding my breath for it happening anytime soon.

Bexley Passes Hemlet Law for Children

29 07 2010

“Anyone who lets a child bike in Bexley without a helmet now could face a $25 fine.

The Bexley City Council passed an ordinance last night similar to Columbus’ helmet regulations, although the Bexley law applies only to children younger than 16. It will go into effect in 30days.

The Columbus law, which applies to riders younger than 18, took effect last summer, but no one has been fined in its first year. Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman had opposed the law, saying it would require too much time and money to enforce.

Bexley Councilman Jed Morison said that even if no one is cited, such a law sends a message that parents should make sure that children are taking safety precautions.

Morison and his wife sponsor a bike-helmet coloring contest every year. He said he sees, as the superintendent of the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the damage that brain injuries can do.

Having a law encourages residents to self-enforce, he said. For example, a family friend might see a child without a helmet and gently remind the parents that it’s against the law.

Councilman Richard Sharp supports helmet use, but he said several residents have told him a new law is excessive.

“More and more people are seeing the benefit of a helmet,” he said. “But parents should teach kids responsibility, not the government.”

He said having officers approach children could frighten youngsters and sour community relations with police.

Councilman Matt Lampke said he voted for the law because residents wanted it.

But he said it was a personal matter as well. When Lampke was 15, he recalled, his younger brother flew over the handlebars of a bike and landed on his head when another child’s bike ran into his.

“He was in a coma for days,” Lampke said. “Coming out of it, he had to learn to read and write all over again. It isn’t always death, but these things can be life-changing.”

Back then, wearing a helmet would have been considered odd, Lampke said. Today, it’s more socially acceptable.

If families worry about spending money on helmets, Lampke pointed out that several insurance companies will give clients vouchers to help them buy bike helmets.”

I’m also interested here that the City of Columbus law that was enacted hasn’t been enforced. I don’t want to start a helmet vs. no helmet debate, because I don’t care, but whats the point?

“Bexley Councilman Jed Morison said that even if no one is cited, such a law sends a message that parents should make sure that children are taking safety precautions.”

To me it sends the message that they arent interested in safety, they are interested in red tape, bureaucrac, and grandstanding for political gains. Wearing a helmet does not equate to safe riding, as we all know, you see plenty of muppets wearing helmets riding like idiots, on and off the sidewalk, passing between cars queued at a light, riding on the wrong side of the road, and on and on. If the city really wanted to make things safer for kids, or anyone riding a bike they would educate drivers and cyclists about operating safely in the road, lower speed limits, install traffic calming, sharrows, bike lanes, bike zones at lights, etc…advocating the notion that wearing a helmet somehow instantly makes you safer is irresponsible at best.

This shouldnt even be a question, but somehow it is.

29 07 2010

The Guardian had an interesting article about the legalities of cars in the bike zone. I wouldn’t have thought this was even a question but it took him a while to get an official answer from anyone…now if we could get cars to stop parking in the bike lanes as well…

Anthony Patrick Settles Court Case Vs. Police!

20 07 2010

On August 19, 2008, bicyclist Anthony Patrick, of Huntington, West Virginia, was tasered and assaulted by Lawrence County, Ohio Deputy Charles Hammonds and Chesapeake Police Department Dennis Gibson.  Patrick who is an experienced cyclist was riding with another person when Deputy Hammonds told them to get off the road.  Patrick told Hammonds he had as much right to be on the road as the deputy or anyone else as prescribed by Ohio law.  The situation deteriorated after that and ended with Patrick being tasered, arrested, and charged with so called “crimes”  invented by the officers including “Riding a Bicycle on the Roadway,” resisting arrest, failing to obey a lawful order and various other fabrications and falsehoods.

On July 1, 2010 in the United States Federal District Courthouse in Cincinnati after several hours of negotiations, a settlement was reached.  While the settlement figure is confidential, Tony Patrick was very pleased with the outcome and feels justice was done.

Read the full story of the assault on a cyclist by police here.

And here is a link to a written by a cyclist/police officer.